I picked up the mail from the box, and went through it halfheartedly. But one envelope caught my eye. It was addressed to “ICE MASTER” at our address. It looked like junk mail, but I opened it, thinking that perhaps my accordion playing husband had acquired a second identity. 

It was an invitation to a clinical study for people with bi polar disorder and clinical depression. Any one knowing my loopy, happy, and enthusiastic husband would know that they had gotten their demographics wrong. But just in case, I asked him.

 ME:  Do you have any pseudonyms that I don’t know about? 

HIM: What? 

ME:  You know—other names or nicknames. Like, for instance, “ICE MASTER?” 

HIM: That sounds like a Rap Singer. Or talker. What do Rappers do, sing or talk? I hate Rap music. It just has the same beat over and over, and I can never make out any of the words, except for “bitch.” 

ME: Yes, but that is neither here nor there. Do YOU have a new stage name for your accordion playing, like “ICE MASTER?” 

HIM:  Why are you asking me this? Why would I want a new musical identity? Wait—that is a great idea! I need a snappier name! Charlie Campbell is kind of boring. You are right! What should I call myself? 


HIM:  Why do you keep saying “ICE MASTER?” I am not a rapper. You know I specialize in Boogie Woogie and Polkas. Maybe I need a cool sounding Polish name. Like “Super Stanislaw!” 

ME: Norbert is a Polish name. It might fit you better. But who is the “ICE MASTER?” 

HIM:  I don’t know any “ICE MASTER.” Why do you keep bringing him up? 

ME:  Because you got a letter, calling you by that name. Asking if you are depressed. And if you want to enter a study. 

HIM:  Give me that letter.  (Reads)  How do you know that this isn’t for you? 

ME:   Wouldn’t I be the “ICE MISTRESS?” 

HIM:  I am not depressed. But wait. It says in the letter that if you go into the study, they pay you a stipend. Look–$500. Maybe I will look into this. 

So I am warning Dr. Christopher Haines, who ostensibly wants the “ICE MASTER” in his clinical research study. Chris, take it from me. The “ICE MASTER” is a happy guy. He will ruin your entire clinical trial. He will bring his accordion, tell you jokes that he thinks are hilarious, and he’ll refer to himself as either Stanislaw or Norbert. I think you should reconsider his application. 

But I may be getting a little depressed just thinking about all of this. I could use $500. If you are interested, contact me at this address. Just call me “MRS. CUBE.”

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